Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Egyptian pipeline under attack once again

Yet another attack on a pipeline carrying gas to Israel and Jordan has been reported by the Egyptian authorities. A witness told Reuters news agency that three men opened fire at a pumping station near the town of El-Arish, in northern Egypt, 50km from the Israeli border.

Attacks on the pipeline have been more frequent this year than at any other period in the past. This reportedly due to the sale of Egyptian gas to Israel, which some groups vehemently opposed. There have also been allegations that under former president Hosni Mubarak gas prices for the 20-year deal signed in 2008 were set at very low rates.

Unnamed Egyptian officials said that an initial assessment of the situation indicated that the gunmen had planted explosives at the station. One of the officials blamed the attack on "extremist militants inspired by Al-Qa'ida".

Three lines branch out from the pumping station: one to Israel, a second one to Jordan and a third to Egypt's domestic market. The Egyptian and Jordanian lines were shut down following the attack. The Israeli pipeline has not been operating since an attack in July.

Last month, Egypt's government deployed thousands of troops to the region as part of a campaign to contain the explosive situation after an assault on a police station by masked militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons killed five people and injured 28 others.

Sources: BBC News, ETaiwan News, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

No comments:

Post a Comment